More at Steak

One of my favorite things about working Masters each year
is a very selfish thing.
Because I am in a kitchen with chefs from all over the nation, working side by side,
I have the chance to watch them do what they do best.
The food we prepare is created almost exclusively from scratch.
All the way down to the zesting of oranges.

The simple mincing of chives
isn’t really simple.
Every year, a new chef demonstrates how to mince without catching the tips of your fingers
with the knife.With fingers tucked out of the way and the large blade rocking against the fingers/knuckles,
the blade is free to move quickly. While I’m not as fast or nimble with a knife, I learn a great deal each year …
skills I bring home and put into practice in my own kitchen.

The greatest lesson I learned this year
was to go with your gut.

I sliced five beef tenderloin one chilly morn.  The meat is put onto platters to be used by patrons to make sandwiches for lunch. It is absolutely delicious.

The next morning, I was given the same job … but couldn’t figure out why the job wasn’t moving as quickly as the day prior.
I asked for help with honing my knife.  It seemed to be much more difficult to get a uniform, consistent cut.
I was a little frustrated, but I continued on my job.
I hated to continue to ask for help … with the knife … with the slicing ….
Then Chef Tom saw my work. He was quite angry with me.
My cuts were almost twice as thick as they should be.
He said things about needing to train or babysit the help.
He commented that I had just created a stack of
three ounce Filet Mignon cuts.
He was very upset with me.
Honestly, I took it to heart.
I was trying to do my best … and balance not being a pest while struggling.
Then he took my knife and tried to repair my work (by cutting each piece in half).
It was impossible.
My knife was very dull.
While I knew I was struggling,
I really didn’t realize that the knife was the crux of problem.
Rather than cutting through the tender meat,
the knife was sawing the loin … unevenly, I might add.

I can’t say that I ever really recovered (emotionally)
from this “mistake” during Masters week.
My friend, Courtney, tried to console me.  Many of the chefs see food a little differently than you or I might. It was a mistake.  They used the meat in some other way and went on. But, I know that a mistake like that was costly. More than that, I let down my “boss.”

I say I’m not a “people pleaser,”
but in certain situations I am extremely people motivated.
I wanted to do an excellent job.
I want to do an excellent job in all that I do.

In fact, the day before, two chefs used the word “perfect” about my work.
The word perfect made me cringe.
I know when I hear that word, there is nowhere to move … but down.

And so, the lesson I learned
is never be so cautious
that you don’t ask for help
over and over again.

I’d rather pester my boss
because my gut tells me that “something is wrong”
(like my knife won’t work properly)
than complete my job
and have my work be poor quality
and the outcome be rendered useless.

Like Jesus spoke in parables, paralleling the spiritual and physical worlds, God convicts and teaches me through similar daily events.

Which, of course, made me think of
the spiritual parallel to this lesson of the physical world.
I should always turn back to God,
and His Word
to see if I’m doing things properly.
I should question my actions
when my gut tells me things aren’t going right … or operating smoothly.
And it’s a good thing to keep my eyes on “The Boss.”
I want him to be pleased and praise me
“Well done, my good and faithful servant.” (Matt 25:21)

Because, sometimes,
especially in the spiritual world,
there is a great deal “more at steak” (pun intended … haha)
than two beef tenderloins.

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